Tim Gates, who hails from Utah, worked as a social worker for people with disabilities before he made his move to Music City. He looks at his music as a way to continue to help people, with both the serious and light-hearted messages found in the lyrics. Tim penned (along with Marc Beeson and Billy Austin) Due Wests debut single release from their new label home at Black River Records. "The Bible and the Belt was inspired by a conversation with a friend of mine," he recalls. "He said You know, Tim, you live in the Bible Belt. My response was that Ive been living between the Bible and the belt my whole life. I realized at the time that I had just come up with a song idea."
"The Bible and the Belt" and "I Get That All The Time" can both be found on Due Wests debut Black River EP that will find its way into stores, and the hands of their ever-growing legion of fans, this fall. Matt says its going to be worth the waitfor Due West as well as their fans. "Weve made an attempt to get our music out to people over the last couple of years. Weve done everything we can think of to be inventive and creative as far as getting our music out---from an eight song demo CD that we would take with us and sell at shows to starting our own label and putting out an album with fifteen tracks. That was great for people to come out to our shows and buy. Whats really special about signing with Black River is that its a legitimate thing. These folks have noticed the hard work we have put in and are very excited to be building on that momentum." He adds that being able to show a physical piece of product to those that have been in their corner will be a huge moment. "Our families, friends, and fans are going to be able to walk into Walmart, Best Buy, or wherever and pick up our album. Thats going to be a neat moment for all of us."
And it is their families who provide so much love and support despite the bands active touring schedule. "Theres nothing like family," Tim says adamantly. "Were on the road all the time. Its fun to hang out with these guys, and go out and play on the road. Theres nothing I want more. But I tell my wife that I have a dream that has already come true, having a great wife and children. Theres nothing like coming home to them. Having them wrap their arms around you and say Welcome Home makes everything better. It takes all the stress away. We all feel the same way about that."
They also feel the same about another aspect of their careers --- giving back. During their concerts, the trio plays a song called "Tip Jar," and they have started a tradition of passing a tip jar around for various charities, and following their lead---the fans give back. One night their audience donated well over $500 for the American Cancer Society during the 3 and a half minute song, and the next night, they helped to raise funds for the family of a fallen police officer.
They also gave back this year by contributing a song to the soundtrack of the feature film "Letters To God." The song "Everything Is Beautiful" was written for teen cancer patient Tyson Busenbark by Due West producer Jason Deere. Due West had become friends with Tyson as he battled his illness and had performed impromptu concerts at Tysons high school and donated concert proceeds to help cover his medical expenses. One of Tysons last requests was to have a song written from him to his Mother. "Everything Is Beautiful" was that song. Sadly, Due West flew across the country to sing the song in August of 2008 at Tysons funeral. He was eighteen years old.
And that is the essence of Due West and their journey together. Whether its giving back financially or musically, Brad, Tim and Matt understand the significance of making a difference in the lives of their friends, family and fans.
So... where does the road Due West lead five years from now? Brad has an answer. "I would like to see us have a career where we can steadily get our music out there and be really established. I hope by then that we are a main staple in country music, and we wouldnt mind having three or four platinum records on the wall!"
With their infectious harmonies, their ability to pen music that moves fans on such a personal level, and their recent signing to Nashvilles Black River Music Group, its safe to say that Due West is headed in the right direction!